Camping is a great way to get out and explore the natural beauty of Ontario, but the cost of campsites can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are several ways to find free camping in Ontario. When looking to save on your Camper Van rental , here’s some tips and resources to help you find free camping in Ontario.
Crown land is owned by the government and is open for public use, including camping. There are over 87,000 square kilometers of Crown land in Ontario, much of which is available for free camping. However, it’s important to note that camping on Crown land is primitive camping, meaning there are no amenities or services. You will need to bring your own supplies, including water and firewood, and pack out all your garbage. To find Crown land near you, check out the Ontario Crown Land Atlas which also has details on permits and other regulations.
Many conservation areas in Ontario offer free camping. Conservation areas are often less crowded than provincial parks and offer a more rustic camping experience. While some conservation areas may charge a small fee for parking or day use, camping is often free. To find conservation areas near you, check out the Ontario Conservation Areas website.
While national parks in Ontario do charge fees for camping, they often offer free camping during certain times of the year. For example, in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, Parks Canada offered free camping in national parks throughout the country. Check the Parks Canada website or contact the individual park for information on any current promotions or special offers.
Boondocking / Private Land
There are several camping apps, such as Hipcamp, and Boondockers Welcome, that allow you to find private landowners who are willing to host boondockers. These apps offer detailed information about the amenities available on each property, including whether there are hookups or if the site is dry camping only.
If you have a specific area in mind where you would like to boondock, try reaching out to landowners in that area. Some landowners may be willing to host boondockers for a fee or in exchange for services, such as help with farm work or property maintenance.
Websites like Craigslist and Kijiji often have listings for private landowners who are looking for short-term renters or are willing to allow boondocking on their property.
From Crown land to conservation areas, national parks to private land, there are plenty of options to choose from. Just remember to follow Leave No Trace principles and always respect the land and those who own it. Happy camping in your camper van rental!